Muse: The Resistance
Wailing guitars, silky piano riffs, Queen-like choruses: Muse is back in town. Swaggering in their imaginary world of romance and apocalypse, Muse’s 5th album, The Resistance, is a showcase of the threesome’s musical talents and adept lyric writing skills. Not unlike Black Holes and Revelations, Matthew Bellamy’s vocals regularly soar over an instrumental opera like Tapio Wilska in Nightwish; he is what gives Muse the punch that attracts musicphiles to the record store like locusts. Sadly, though Bellamy’s abilities as a lead singer are fantastic, he cannot hide what The Resistance lacks: track diversity.
Don’t get me wrong: The Resistance has no lack of creativity or individuality. It can easily be compared to A Night At the Opera. There are epics of musical genius, and then filler pieces to detract from the album. Take “Uprising,” the “Get On Your Boots” opener to the album, and “United States of Eurasia / Collateral Damage (Excerpt from Nocturne in E-Flat, Op. 9 No. 2)” (yes that is the entire name of the track). The former track grooves similarly to “Exo Politics” on Black Holes and Revelations. Bellamy incites riot, and synths compliment the marching progressive rock: it’s a Muse song. The latter is an experiment: Bellamy tried to become Freddy Mercury. Muse does “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Well, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Aladdin Soundtrack, and Chopin. An adventuresome escapade to say the least, certainly not made for radio at 5:48, and, dareIsay?, well done.
The fillers include “MK Ultra,” an unimpressive heavy synth saved only by an awesome concluding guitar solo, and “Guiding Light,” an unimpressive heavy synth saved only by an awesome concluding guitar solo. Even the 6:55 epic between the two fillers is unmemorable; Bellamy, for all his masterwork in vocals, becomes forgettable.
But of course what this album review should be about is the three-track conclusion to The Resistance: “Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1 (Overture),” “Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 2 (Cross-pollination),” and “Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 3 (Redemption).” A result of several years of Bellamy sweat, the 12:51 combined track is gorgeous: this is how the younger generation can get old people to listen to Muse. Styx and Liszt, Chopin and U2, Muse combines the greats to create a groundbreaking incomparable epic that is the first of its kind this millennia. “Exogenesis” motivates you, fills you with hope, and then cushions you to bed. It is a masterpiece.
Sadly, the lack of novelty previous to the “Exogenesis” tracks detracts from Muse’s brilliance. The new sound that Muse found at the end of The Resistance should be celebrated and awarded, followed up with an entire album of similar force. The rest of The Resistance, sadly, cannot stand next to it.
Buy These Tracks: All of Exogenesis, United States of Eurasia / Collateral Damage (Excerpt from Nocturne in E-Flat, Op. 9 No. 2)
Toss These Tracks: MK Ultra, Guiding Light, Unnatural Selection